Who Are We

Founded in 2007, Aspire Circle (aka Aspire Action Trust) promotes enlightened social leadership. It builds and scales three impact initiatives—Fellowships, Scholarships and Internships—to catalyze India’s leadership capabilities in social impact. Aspire Circle has 176 Fellows to date and has awarded 30 scholarships between 2008 and2018.

The three pillars or foundational initiatives focus on:

  • Aspire Young Achievers, launched in 2008, as our scholarship program; it recognises and inspires future leaders with a scholarship of INR 1 Lac. The scholarship is awarded annually to three young achievers from humble backgrounds under the age of 30 in the field of sports, art, culture, academics or civil society.
  • Aspire Circle Fellowship, launched in 2013-14 is designed as a one-year curriculum for social leaders (CSR heads, foundation heads, impact investors, impact entrepreneurs, NGO heads) to inspire enlightened leadership through a reflective, readings-based Socratic journey. Fellows must meet four times, once each quarter, to complete the Fellowship. They become Fellows for life, meeting at ARC, a triennial event.
  • RISE Interns, launched in 2020, prepares youth as a new cadre of Impact professionals for the imminent Impact Revolution; the aim is to enhance India’s chances of global leadership as an Impact Economy by generating awareness and developing Impact Science skills.

Aspire Circle further catalyzes action by its Fellows, Scholars and Interns across three programs, all launched in 2020:

  • The National Impact Mission (NIM): The pandemic calls for refocusing on rural revival and creation of livelihoods. NIM is designed for Technology platform-based micro-entrepreneurship as a solution. We have created a broad coalition of Fellows and external organizations such as Societal Platforms and Platform for Inclusive Entrepreneurship (PIE) to bring together funders and entrepreneurship enablers for NIM. We have three pilots underway with Akshara for government school education; v-shesh for financial literacy and inclusion for PWDs; and SEWA bazaar to connect the farmers directly to vendors, eliminating the role of middle-men, increasing profitability by 30% for the former and 70% for the latter.
  • The Clean Air Mission (CAM) is a collaborative program with AIDMI to help reduce air pollutants in key cities of Gujarat in Phase 1, , by building capabilities in the State Pollution Control Board, creating a monitoring mechanism, training municipal, traffic police or other government staff, and, creating an awareness campaign using the national app, Sameer.
  • The Impact Future Project (IFP) is a unique thought leadership platform, which brings together over 200 business, investment, non-profit, media and government leaders to generate investment ideas and unlock private capital for public good, enabling India Inc. to embrace Impact Capitalism and Impact Accounting.

Aspire Circle is part of the Aspire family, founded by Amit Bhatia in 2007, focused on impact leadership and ecosystem development through three initiatives: Aspire Education (www.aspireeducation.in) for education, Aspire Impact (www.aspireimpact.in) for ecosystems, and Aspire Circle (www.aspirecircle.org) for social leadership. Based in Gurugram (Haryana, India), Aspire is committed to making “Living Impact”.

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